Union Army operations in the Mississippi Valley after the fall of Vicksburg

historicus

Private
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
I'm curious about how much it would have helped the Confederacy if the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson throughout the American Civil War. If the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the artillery at Port Hudson and Vicksburg would allow the Confederacy to control about 150 miles of the Mississippi River. If the Confederacy managed to control the Mississippi River between Port Hudson and Vicksburg, that would prevent the Union Army from using the Mississippi River to transport troops and food and ammunition and gunpowder and other supplies down the Mississippi River.

After the fall of Port Hudson on July 09, 1863, what major Union Army operations were there in the Mississippi Valley other than the Red River Campaign and the Meridian Campaign?

Secondly, how much did the Union Army use the Mississippi River to transport troops and supplies to after July 09, 1863?

Please let's not get into the question of whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg. If you want to discuss whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg, please create another thread for that.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
You ask "After the fall of Port Hudson on July 09, 1863, what major Union Army operations were there in the Mississippi Valley other than the Red River Campaign and the Meridian Campaign?"

I guess the key word is "major". In addition to the two you mention, the taking of Little Rock probably counts.

Other than that, there were a bunch of minor movements, typically raids or attempts to counter confederate cavalry (see reactions to Forrest or Shelby or Price)

Given that clearing the Mississippi was the major goal in the region, once that was done, there was little purpose left except as bases for moves toward the periphery (Shreveport, Little Rock, Mobile)

For connecting the upriver forces with the forces at New Orleans it was important for the US to use the Mississippi River to transport troops and supplies, but not so much other than that.
 

tony_gunter

Corporal
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
Mississippi
I'm curious about how much it would have helped the Confederacy if the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson throughout the American Civil War. If the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the artillery at Port Hudson and Vicksburg would allow the Confederacy to control about 150 miles of the Mississippi River. If the Confederacy managed to control the Mississippi River between Port Hudson and Vicksburg, that would prevent the Union Army from using the Mississippi River to transport troops and food and ammunition and gunpowder and other supplies down the Mississippi River.

After the fall of Port Hudson on July 09, 1863, what major Union Army operations were there in the Mississippi Valley other than the Red River Campaign and the Meridian Campaign?

Secondly, how much did the Union Army use the Mississippi River to transport troops and supplies to after July 09, 1863?

Please let's not get into the question of whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg. If you want to discuss whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg, please create another thread for that.
What's that saying about tactics, strategy, and logistics?

A government runs on the backs of its workers. The river valleys of the Mississippi and Red Rivers north of New Orleans and south of Memphis / Shreveport was the most densely populated slave territory in the U.S. That represented nearly a million workers, whose economic output supported the Confederacy. Not only did the Confederacy lose that economic output, the federals gained much of it. And 42,000 of these newly freed men joined the federal army.

How much would it have helped if the Confederacy held the area? A lot. 🙂
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I'm curious about how much it would have helped the Confederacy if the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson throughout the American Civil War. If the Confederacy managed to keep both Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the artillery at Port Hudson and Vicksburg would allow the Confederacy to control about 150 miles of the Mississippi River. If the Confederacy managed to control the Mississippi River between Port Hudson and Vicksburg, that would prevent the Union Army from using the Mississippi River to transport troops and food and ammunition and gunpowder and other supplies down the Mississippi River.

After the fall of Port Hudson on July 09, 1863, what major Union Army operations were there in the Mississippi Valley other than the Red River Campaign and the Meridian Campaign?

Secondly, how much did the Union Army use the Mississippi River to transport troops and supplies to after July 09, 1863?

Please let's not get into the question of whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg. If you want to discuss whether or not it was possible for the Confederates to keep Port Hudson and Vicksburg, please create another thread for that.
Control of the Mississippi River was a major gain for the US with respect to supplying New Orleans and operations in the western gulf.
A good deal of valuable southern cotton made it to the Mississippi River and then connected to the railroads at Memphis, Cairo and Louisville. It was a huge plus for the US.
The benefit of Vicksburg and Port Hudson to the Confederacy in two ways. US troops occupied the west bank of the Mississippi, and the Confederates responded by taking up the railroad east of Shreveport and sending the rails to Marshall, Texas. Second, Farragut got the Hartford and a support ship above Port Hudson and into the mouth of the Red River. Most Confederate cross river traffic ended as ship captains were not willing to risk the run.
The fall of Vicksburg made these changes much cheaper to retain.
And military operations on the river to suppress guerilla fighters were continual.
It was a large benefit to the US. To magnify the benefit required closing Mobile Bay to blockade runners. That took some time to arrange.
 
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